credit-suiss 'Credit Suisse Group and society' chapter in the Business Review
Credit Suisse Group
Business Review 2005
Credit Suisse Group in society
The key function of a business is to create value for its
shareholders, clients and employees. This way, it can
contribute to the prosperity of society by meeting the
demand for goods and services; by providing a source
of income and retirement provision; and by paying taxes.
As it is exposed to competition, the company must
continuously enhance productivity and develop new ideas,
so adding to the pool of collective knowledge and helping
to devise solutions for the challenges of society.
Credit Suisse Group is aware of its responsibility towards its various stakeholder groups:
shareholders, clients and employees, as well as the local community and the broader
social environment. We strive to achieve economic success by consciously addressing
external expectations regarding our profitability and environmental and social activities,
as well as by making decisions that take account of the current and future needs
The Credit Suisse Group Code of Conduct contains binding values that all employees
are expected to observe. Together with the company’s sustainability policy, it
demonstrates our commitment to the principle of sustainability and also refers to related
international conventions that we have pledged to uphold. These include the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Declaration for Financial Services Providers,
and the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative under which companies commit
themselves to 10 principles relating to environmental protection, working conditions,
human rights and anti-corruption efforts.
In this section of the review we elaborate on key factors relating to sustainability,
contributing to long-term business success:
– Sustainability-oriented products and services
– A prudent approach to business
– The efficient use of resources
– A responsible human resources policy
Legal and Compliance (Zürich)
– An active exchange of views and ideas with society
Among the wide variety we offer, sustainability-oriented investment products represent
a small, yet innovative, selection.
The Credit Suisse Global Sustainability Fund and Credit Suisse Fellowship Fund are
geared towards sustainable, ethical and ecological investing. Our Global Water Basket
and Alternative Energy Basket (launched in 2005) provide topical investment
opportunities in the fields of environmental technology and eco-efficiency, seen against
the shortage of natural resources and demands for a reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions. The Leu Prima Cat Bond allows for the financial hedging of risks such as
flooding and hurricanes that are difficult to insure in the traditional insurance market.
Finally, the responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund, available for public sale in
Switzerland since March 2005 – on time for the UN Year of Microcredit – provides
loans for micro-entrepreneurs in developing and newly-industrialized countries.
The newest products with a social benefit are Charity Notes, launched in November
2005. These generate a return for the investor, while enabling the charitable foundation
Symphasis to combat youth unemployment in Switzerland. Services such as individual
portfolio screening with specialist advice complement our sustainability offerings.
32 Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005
responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund: key facts
– Launched in November 2003; available for public sale in Switzerland since March 2005
– Volume as of December 31, 2005: USD 45 million
– Assets managed in the fund reach 95 microfinance institutions worldwide,
which supply micro loans to around 65,000 small businesses;
69% of these micro-entrepreneurs are women
– The largest direct investments are made in Georgia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan,
Mexico and Ecuador
– Investment return in 2005: 3.91% (Fund currency USD)
A prudent approach to business
As well as complying with all relevant legislation, considering the environmental and
social aspects of corporate activity is a prerequisite for business success. The
corresponding due diligence requirements are therefore very important, and also
safeguard the company’s reputation.
As we operate internationally, we must prevent our products and services from being
abused, while still respecting the privacy of our clients. Besides all relevant local laws,
everywhere we operate we apply the robust Swiss regulations for preventing money
laundering and terrorist financing. Furthermore, financial intermediaries are subject to
growing demands regarding their credibility and trustworthiness. For these purposes we
are helping to establish industry-wide standards, as one of 12 international banks in the
Concerning the ecological and social implications of our business activities, it is
essential we consider credit-, liability- and reputation-related risks as an integral part
of risk management. Examining ecological risks when making credit decisions has
been standard practice for several years. In addition to internal directives, we have
adopted the Equator Principles, a voluntary agreement between financial services
providers to address ecological and social risks in project finance in accordance
with World Bank guidelines.
Credit Suisse has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the
FTSE4Good Index Series for several years. These indices, which are reviewed annually,
are based on ratings that evaluate companies according to various aspects of
You can also consult a comprehensive sustainability reporting package – comprising
a description of the environmental management system and indicators, as well as
milestones in 2005 – to evaluate the performance of Credit Suisse. This information
is available at: www.credit-suisse.com/responsibility.
Efficient use of resources
Credit Suisse strives to ensure that its internal processes make careful use of natural
resources. To monitor the appropriate measures centrally and set targets, we run an
environmental management system, certified under ISO 14001 since 1997, which also
includes key external partners such as facility management and catering services.
Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005 33
Several examples illustrate our resource-saving activity in 2005: replacing tube monitors
with flat screens has reduced our energy consumption throughout Switzerland; installing
water-saving tap fittings has halved water consumption, without any loss of comfort;
increasing the proportion of our paper produced using sustainable forestry practices
has further added to a reduction in environmental impacts; and we have reached a
milestone in our pilot project (see panel) aimed at achieving greenhouse gas neutrality.
These measures contribute to the more efficient handling of natural resources, while
also saving money.
The company’s environmental management efforts have also received public recog-
nition in the award from the Climate Group, presented in Montreal in December 2005,
to acknowledge the continuous improvements we have achieved in recent years.
Greenhouse gas neutral in Switzerland from 2006
Private Banking (Hong Kong)
In 2005, we launched a pilot project aimed at achieving greenhouse gas neutrality in our activities
in Switzerland from 2006, based on:
1. Increasing energy-efficiency by consciously optimizing operations and controlling investments
at existing facilities
2. Substitution measures (e.g. the purchase of “green” electricity)
3. Offsetting of the remaining amount through emission certificates
A responsible human resources policy
Employees are vital to the success of Credit Suisse: they provide the service and advice
that our clients require, and they represent the company. As banking grows increasingly
complex, it is important not only that we acquire employees who have the requisite
skills, but also that we train them and help them develop. Our training activity is run by
Credit Suisse Business School, which aligns various sales and management training
programs to our business strategy. For example, Campus Asia, which opened in
Singapore in 2005, prepares employees for their roles in the Asian growth market.
The School also offers specialist training in conjunction with external partners.
Promoting equal opportunity is particularly important and units dedicated to diversity
management support our efforts in meeting the requirements of our Code of Conduct
with regard to a work environment that is free from discrimination. These measures
enable us to serve a diverse global clientele with our employees’ wide range of
experience and perspectives. In 2005 we received external recognition for our efforts
from the US magazine Working Mother and the UK organization Opportunity Now.
Credit Suisse Business School: key facts
– Opened January 1, 2004
– Comprises Business Faculty and Leadership Faculty
– Present on two continents: Europe (Zürich) and Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong)
– Awarded Corporate Learning Improvement Process (CLIP) certification by European Foundation
for Management Development in spring 2005 – the first bank worldwide to receive this
– In 2005, a total of 3,469 courses involving 4,719 days of training and 45,137 participants
were carried out
– Over the last eight years, Credit Suisse in Switzerland has, on average, had:
– 600 commercial and IT apprenticeships
– 350 positions for high school and university graduates
34 Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005
Active exchange of views and ideas with society
In addition to shareholders, clients, analysts and the media, Credit Suisse also
exchanges views and ideas with competitors, regulators, associations, government
representatives, international bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
creating understanding and helping to find solutions to social challenges. Regular
studies produced by our Economic Research department – about current issues such
as family policy, the eastward expansion of the EU and innovative approaches to tax
reforms – attract considerable attention. There is also a great deal of interest in the
Credit Suisse Sorgenbarometer, an annual survey of the Swiss public’s concerns. In
2005 it identified unemployment, healthcare and retirement provision as the main
sources of worry.
Discussions with NGOs enable us to present our viewpoint and also to critically examine
our own perspective, as in the case of the meeting we hosted in February 2005
regarding the implementation of the Equator Principles. All of these exchanges enable
us to identify new developments, trends and expectations that could be relevant in the
future. The large number of our employees who hold positions in associations, specialist
groups and political bodies also help to actively shape society.
The varied charitable commitments of Credit Suisse as a company, as well as those
of its employees, are born of a sense of responsibility for our global community and
in an effort to preserve a stable environment. Various foundations and donations
departments, each with a thematic or geographic focus, make contributions to promote
artistic talent, to support the integration of people with disabilities, to construct and
equip schools and libraries, to mentor young people, and to address the needs of the
sick and elderly.
A number of devastating natural disasters occurred in late 2004 and 2005. Credit
Suisse and many of its employees provided emergency financial aid to enable
immediate support for the victims of these catastrophes. In the context of corporate
volunteering, many employees also lent a helping hand in their spare time. Activities
ranged from assisting in the renovation of playgrounds and community centers, cleaning
up green spaces, performing craftwork with children, tutoring young people with their
homework or mentoring students at the start of their careers. Credit Suisse’s
sponsorship of sports and culture on a national and international level is yet another
component of our interaction with society, and ensures that Credit Suisse is recognized
by a broad public.
Rebuilding after the tsunami
In October 2005 and January 2006, two teams of 20 Credit Suisse employees
volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, an international NGO focused on providing
affordable housing, to help rebuild homes near Galle, Sri Lanka, a region severely
affected by the tsunami. This was in addition to financial aid to support reconstruction
efforts provided by the Credit Suisse Group Foundation, which was endowed with
USD 10 million.
During one week, the volunteers worked alongside local families to construct new
homes. Under the guidance of Habitat for Humanity, employees produced concrete
components, laid foundations, erected concrete walls and built wooden roofs. Their
efforts helped the population return to a normal life, and gave them hope for the future.
Internal Audit (New York)
Credit Suisse Group Business Review 2005 35
CREDIT SUISSE GROUP